U of Texas researchers awarded grant for ultra-flexible nanoelectronic brain probes

The National Institutes of Health has awarded Chong Xie, an assistant professor in the U of Texas, Austin Department of Biomedical Engineering, and his team with a five-year R01 grant to develop a stable long-term use brain probe that can record electrical activity of individual cells, according to a university announcement.
The grant will build on previous research, which Xie's group published in Science Advances earlier this year, according to the article.

Xie, a BMES member, and his team have developed ultra-flexible, nanoelectronic (NET) probes that integrate with the brain without forming scar tissue. The probes are thousands of times more flexible than previous counterparts.

Conventional implanted neural probes are important to both fundamental and clinical neuroscience applications, the article states. In scientific research, they remain the only option to record data on individual neurons and provide critical information to dissect the neural circuitry. In the clinical setting, neural probes have successfully treated a number of disorders, such as deep brain stimulation to treat Parkinson's and peripheral nerve stimulation to control pain. 

However, conventional neural probes are limited by unstable performance and substantial invasiveness. 

Xie's has found that ultra-flexibility may be the answer to creating long-term stable neural probe.

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